Many exciting things have happened in 2019 with this project! We want to offer an update on with some new developments.
New Image Partner
Columbia University Libraries has joined Scribes of the Cairo Geniza as an image partner, contributing their 34 Cairo Geniza fragments to be sorted, classified, and transcribed by Zooniverse volunteers. (Because of how we format fragments in Zooniverse, this converts to 378 subjects.) Columbia University began collecting Judaica with its inception in 1754, and currently has close to 1700 manuscript titles. The Geniza fragments came with a large purchase of manuscripts by Professor Salo Baron from bookdealer David Fraenkel in Vienna in 1933–34. Some of our fragments were removed from book bindings. The oldest fragments in our collections date to the 10th century. A brief history of Columbia’s Judaica collection can be found on their website. We are thrilled to have Columbia University Libraries as a partner in this project, and look forward to learning more!
We launched the transcription phase of the project on March 6, 2019 with approximately 17,491 fragments. Each line on a subject (a front and back of an image of a fragment) has to be transcribed at least 3 times, each time by a different volunteer, before a subject is retired (complete). As of April 30, 2019, 288 #genizascribes have transcribed at least one line on 722 fragments, and retired 7Easy Arabic fragments. Based on our content specialists’ feedback, these transcriptions look great! Thank you so much for your hard work.
We published an overview of the data from the sorting phase (August 2017 — February 2019) through four blog posts, looking at script type, script style, visual characteristics, and Talk board tags.
Reviewing the Sorting Phase: Overview
_A review of the data from Scribes of the Cairo Geniza_medium.com
We support public engagement with Scribes of the Cairo Geniza, especially collaborations with educational and cultural heritage institutions to bring this history to the public. Host an event of your own using our new, self-contained Organizing Toolkit. If you’re interested in using this toolkit for planning an event, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Organizing a SotCG Event - Google Drive
— “Menorah-Shaped Lamnatzeach” : #GenizaScribes take a look at text in the shape of a flame and connect it to the present. — “Pretty Signatures” : A look at a signature takes us far from medieval Cairo to modern Jerusalem, with all the challenges that come with researching fragments. — “Binding” : In the search for evidence of binding, we find a fragment with corner binding!
How Can You Help?
Sort! — In addition to the new batch of images from Columbia University Libraries, volunteers are still sorting and classifying fragments from The University of Manchester Library.
Transcribe! — Come transcribe Easy Arabic and Easy Hebrew subjects. No experience necessary! Join us in the talk boards, and tell us what you’re learning.
Talk! — Do you have questions about a subject? Are you a medievalist with knowledge to share? Do you read Hebrew or Arabic? If you answered yes to ANY of those questions, register for a Zooniverse account and join us on the forums. Ask and answer questions, share what you’re learning, and contribute to the discussion of Scribes of the Cairo Geniza.
By Judaica DH at the Penn Libraries on .
Exported from Medium on April 14, 2020.